WRC BREAKS NEW GROUND
Trevor and Janine weren’t expecting this. Walking out of Beachside Guest House on Llandudno’s South Parade on Sunday morning, they were confronted by a different world. Bags in hand, the journey home to St Albans was halted. At least for half an hour.
Right on cue, Thierry Neuville came to town in a style nobody in Britain had ever seen before. He lifted off and threw his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC at the first chicane on the A456. With the car unsettled, he was back hard on the throttle, drifting the thing between the bales before repeating the process for the second chicane 100 yards down the road.
The car’s machine-gun-fire anti-lag bounced off the walls, and the pure noise of a modern-day World Rally Car caused bags to be dropped, fingers to be put in ears and jaws to slacken. It’s fair to say Trevor and Janine had never seen anything like this.
“What is it?” Trevor asked, transfixed. Donut completed at the end of Gloddaeth Street, Neuville was back heading our way. Trailing the throttle through the right-hander onto the seafront where the finish was waiting, this glorious blue-andorange sensory invasion once again exploded unused fuel as the turbo continued to spin. A flash of flame accompanied half a turn of lock and the noise and commotion were gone. At least for the next two minutes.
Hertfordshire could wait. The WRC had found two more fans. World-class motorsport arrived on British streets last Sunday, and it couldn’t have been more welcome. Rally GB managing director Ben Taylor and his team had worked for a year for that moment, and many hadn’t seen their beds as they put the stage together on Saturday night. But when the sun rose on Sunday morning, the magic began. DAVID EVANS